About the challenge
Isolated from modern tourism until very recently, Burma is a captivating land rich in natural beauty and culture. Our rewarding trek takes us through the unspoilt tribal highlands of the Shan hills to Lake Inle, one of Burma’s most memorable sights. Our hilly route takes us through jungle, farmland and quiet villages where oxen pull wooden ploughs. Our trek ends at Lake Inle, where boats take us past the remarkable lake villages and floating gardens, and we can witness Inle’s unique leg-rowing fishermen. Our trip ends with Bagan’s unforgettable plain of ancient temples, and Yangon’s incredible Shwedagon Pagoda – this is a trip packed with cultural discovery and exceptional trekking.
Part Payment option available on this challenge
Please Note: Website date for Open Burma HIlltribe Trek in Feb 2017 is correct - this differs from Brochure
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|18 Feb 2017||10||Help for Heroes||Spaces||£399||+||£4000||Or||—||Contact charity|
|11 Nov 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|17 Feb 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|10 Nov 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
Diverse trekking through forested hills and farmland
Witness village life in unspoilt Shan highlands
Discover sights and culture of fascinating Lake Inle
Days 1-2: Flight to Yangon
Days 3-5: Trek through lush hilly jungle to highlands dotted with villages and patches of farmland, great insight into untouched way of life
Days 6-7: Visit colourful market before trekking through farmland and rice-paddies; downhill to Lake Inle and explore waterways by boat
Days 8-10: Free day to explore waterways of Lake Inle; return to Yangon and fly home
What makes it challenging?
Undulating terrain on dirt tracks
Heat adds to the challenge
Longest day 8-9 hours trekking
Stay in simple, authentic Buddhist monasteries
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes all flights, transport, accommodation, all meals except two as specified in the itinerary, and entry fees to Bagan and any other sites included as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks and drivers, and all safety equipment.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes if charged by the airline (capped by Discover Adventure), meals as specified, tip for local crew, Burma entry visa or international airport tax. It also does not include any optional sites you may wish to visit.We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Singapore Airlines. However, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
We sleep in local monasteries on the trek; this is a great privilege and a wonderful insight to monastery life, though conditions are necessarily quite basic, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. At the start and end of the trek we stay in good hotels which may vary in standards a little. Rooms are on a twin-share basis.
All food is included except for two meals as specified. The food is local in style and very tasty; there is plenty of it. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in very rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities - where you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized group in Burma would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides and drivers. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Our drivers do not always speak much English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.
Your luggage is carried by vehicles from hotel to hotel. Vehicles will drop us off at the start of the trek and pick us up for any transfers. They also carry all food, water etc. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek varied paths and tracks through lush jungle, farmland and villages. Some tracks are wide and used by carts a great deal; others are narrow and may be overgrown or muddy. Trekking conditions may be slippery after rain. The terrain is hilly, and the slopes can feel steeper in the heat! Much of the area we trek through is remote, with few good roads, though we are never far from small villages and rural life.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote areas where we could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for quickly changing conditions and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A ten-year passport is essential and must be valid for at least 6 months after entry into Burma. UK citizens require a visa which should be obtained in advance.
You must have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and we highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
In November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader of Burma signalled the end of a tourism boycott which started in 1995. At Discover Adventure we have witnessed the rise in interest in the country and are pleased to have visited in May 2014 to reconnoitre two challenges.
It is important to us that we’ve selected privately-owned ground operators for all of our services and have planned itineraries which, to the best of the knowledge at our disposal, are not affiliated with the government of former military junta. We strongly believe we will be contributing to the local economy in a positive way
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.